During my free walking tour, I always ask my tourists: what do you know about Islam. The answers shock me, when most of the time I notice that they aware of 5 pillars of Islam, which one of them is Fasting during Ramadan.
Ramadan is the holy month for Muslim people around the world, which is the 9th month of Arabic lunar calendar. It is not just abstaining of eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset, but also it is considered as a big spiritual refection to ourselves, to understand what is going on inside and outside of our body. It reminds us how the life looks like for people, who suffer from less fortune and motivates us to appreciation what we have as blessing. Also, it is detoxing process for body and digestion system.
We call this month, the month of God’s party, because firstly, we, Muslim, believe that in this month, Quran, our holy book, is inspired to Prophet Mohammed in the night called Ghadr night (literally meaning night of destiny). Secondly, in this month, people reflect to themselves a lot and report of police also proves the lower rate of criminal commitment in this month.
The ritual of fasting starts with eating of ‘Sahari’ before sunrise, and we break our fast after sunset with a sip of hot water or tea in our ‘Iftar time’.
If you decide to explore Iran during this time, you will definitely be survived and would not starving during your trip. And even you will be surprised with variety of special meals that you have this chance to try just in this time of year.
In Islam, being on fast is not obligated for people who travel, women who are pregnant, doing breast feeding, or during their aunt flow visiting time, for children and for people suffering from sickness. But all of the mentioned people are expected to respect to the people, who are on fast and not to eat, drink and smoke in public places. It does not mean, you would be dehydrated since you are not allowed to drink water in hot days in Iran. You can do it after just checking around yourself that nobody is looking at you. During day time, grocery shopping are open, all restaurants in hotel and your accommodation provide you service for breakfast and lunch and also bistro shops offer take away cold sandwiches.
It needs a little bit consciousness to adjust your traveling time in Iran during this holy month. However, patience pays off. Whoever travel to Iran in this time, would experience a night life, which cannot be touched in other 11 months of year. Most restaurant are open from Iftar time to Sahari time. One hour before Iftar time, there are some booths, where you can buy fresh Ash reshteh, Haleem (not good for gluten intolerance people like me) and alsom Shole Zard (Saffron Pudding rice).
In confectionery, your eyes will pop out of huge pile of Zoolbia bamieh (special sweets for Ramadan) in one corner. It is not good for health, as it is too sweet, but you cannot stop yourself from eating them after you try just one tiny part.
Iftar time is usually a party time that family get together and they break their fast with tea, cheese, date, and all mentioned meals. Ramadan is a nice food festival even for foodies, who are not even doing fast.
Sometimes, close to Iftar time, someone rings the bell, and you get a bowl of shole zard as NAZRI.
Nazri (free food) is considered holy for anyone who eat it or make it, it is given free by individuals and privates groups as a way of completing an offering made to Allah. There are lots of love lives, that started by passing around of Nazri food among neighbors and knocking on the doors of houses, and men and women met each other for the first time during the custom of Nazri’s distribution.
PersianWalk has lots of stories about food, customs and even provide you a platform to try different foods in Ramadan in ‘once upon a time in Tajrish’ tour. If you are interested to give a bite to different snacks during Iftar time, make a reservation on line.
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